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Li Keqiang Meets with Thai Guests

On the afternoon of December 12, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at Ziguangge of Zhongnanhai with visiting First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan of Thailand. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak of Thailand, who was in China for the meeting of China-Thailand Joint Committee on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation, attended the meeting.

Li Keqiang noted that China and Thailand are family-like neighbors as well as important partners of cooperation and development. The Chinese side stands ready to, together with Thailand, enhance high-level exchanges, expand mutually beneficial and practical cooperation and extend exchanges in people-to-people and cultural engagement, defense, law enforcement and security, so as to elevate China-Thailand relations and cooperation to a new stage.

Li Keqiang pointed out that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha and I have reached new consensus on promoting China-Thailand railway cooperation within this year. The memorandum of cooperation signed at the joint committee this time paves the way for the next stage of cooperation on the basis of clarifying existing high-speed rail cooperation framework. China is willing to make joint efforts with the Thai side to push China-Thailand railway construction for constant and positive progress and bring tangible benefits to people of the two countries and the region.

Li Keqiang stressed that under current international economic and political situations, it is the consensus of all parties to enhance East Asia economic integration, especially to agree upon the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date, which is in line with all parties' interests and conducive to showing the determination of regional countries in promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China supports the ASEAN's central role in regional cooperation, and is willing to reinforce coordination and communication with relevant parties, including Thailand on the negotiation of the RCEP under the framework of China-ASEAN relations and East Asia cooperation.

Prawit Wongsuwan said that Thailand and China enjoy profound friendship, and the development strategies of both countries are mutually beneficial and complementary to each other. Entrusted by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, he came to China to inform the latest progress of Thailand-China cooperation. The Thai side is ready to work with China to speed up and facilitate major connectivity projects including the Thailand-China railway and carry out in-depth cooperation in such fields as tourism, internet, agriculture, law enforcement and security. The RCEP is an important initiative that will benefit Asia. As an ASEAN member, Thailand is willing to play an active role in pooling consensus for relevant RCEP negotiations and accelerating its progress.

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